According to a Forbes report, customer-centric startups are 60% more profitable and provide a more consistent experience, which 69% of consumers enjoy. Investing in quality customer service training is never a bad idea if you want to improve satisfaction rates and agent attrition.
How to Improve Your Customer Service Training Program
To ensure the best possible customer service, you need to provide training that equips agents with necessary engagement-boosting skills. Here’s how your company can accomplish this.
1. Promote a Culture of Continuous Learning
Modern employees want more learning opportunities, but that isn’t always easy in a fast-paced industry. With customer service training software, you can set up programs that fit all learning styles. Ideally, you’ll want to use tools that are always accessible, flexible, and frictionless.
Remember that customer service training is supposed to be an ongoing experience. New data shows up every day, and you need to utilize it to improve your agents and training programs.
Giving employees access to study materials isn’t enough; you also need to promote the values of continuous learning in your culture. Do this by creating awareness for training resources, developing a learning library, and connecting personal development to company goals.
2. Give Access to Real-Time Customer Feedback
Employers have long taken a data-driven approach to overall customer service operations. If you haven’t used analytics software, you should do so immediately. Start by incorporating key metrics and KPIs, such as net promoter score, customer satisfaction, and custom effort score.
This data is essential because it helps you see where improvements can be made. However, data won’t tell the whole story, as real-time customer feedback can provide even more insight.
Since most customer service interactions are recorded, agents have the ability to listen to or read feedback and implement it immediately. With more visibility, agents don’t have to wait a week or month to correct their behavior or play broken-feedback-telephone with managers.
3. Keep Training Materials Relevant and Up-to-Date
Most HR professionals agree that keeping your training materials relevant is a great employee training tip, but employers prefer to stick with evergreen content. While your training material will have information that stays relevant, other best practices vary greatly from year to year.
For example, customers were content with waiting up to 24 hours for a response to their email 5 years ago. Now, customers will only wait one hour on average before they become frustrated.
Unless you word the questions on your feedback forms in a specific way, your customers may not vocalize exactly why they had a bad experience, only that they did. That’s why it’s vital to look up up-to-date data from other sources and stay on top of customer satisfaction trends.
4. Dedicate a Unit to Dealing With Angry Customers
Whether you hire employees in-house or prefer to use a contact center, every customer service agent needs to know how to handle angry customers. Your customers typically vocalize their opinions when upset, so a good portion of agent interactions will be with angry people.
When adopting this part of your training, consider human nature. Ask yourself how people act when they’re screamed at or how an angry person wants to be calmed once they’re fired up.
Most negative interactions can be resolved through active listening and allowing the customer to vent, but you should never accept abuse. If a customer starts name calling or gets physical, explain that agents don’t have to put up with this treatment and should hang up or call security.
5. Find Ways to Tie in Employee Rewards and Recognition
Your employees want to know if they’re making progress, but you shouldn’t wait until they reach a company goal or milestone to say something. The key word here is “progress.” We all learn at different rates, so congratulating staff based on their own improvement makes the most sense.
For example, if an agent used to lock up when a customer raised their voice, but they were able to respond quickly during their latest interaction, congratulate them on their positive change.
All employees want to be praised, but not everyone is comfortable with public shoutouts or physical gifts. Speak to your employees individually to see how they prefer to be recognized. Some examples include bonuses, notes, trophies, paid time off, free lunches, or flowers.